I feel like I wrote something similar to this about a month ago when Brett Myers went down. Well, here we go again. The Phillies start a series in Atlanta tonight, and they don’t have a pitcher lined up for Thursday yet. They’ll have to dip back into the Minor Leagues again, this time hoping for more prolonged success than when they plucked Antonio Bastardo. The candidates this time around appear to be Drew Carpenter and Carlos Carrasco. Both were options when Bastardo was called up, but were not chosen. Since then Bastardo has gone on the DL and Carpenter and Carrasco have been pitching well in Lehigh Valley.
By opting for Bastardo the Phillies took a chance on a guy that had good stuff, and theoretically would give unfamiliar teams some problems. This is what happened, but only for two starts. The temptation this time is to go with Carrasco, who has the higher ceiling, and more dynamic stuff, but perhaps it is time to be a little more realistic. Carpenter has more experience, and is the pitcher more likely to give some consistency. Carrasco has just started having some success at AAA, and maybe should not be rushed.
The truth is the Phillies need someone other than these two guys. Someone not in their farm system to fill the hole in the rotation. We’re assuming that Ruben Amaro has some moves planned, so while he contemplates fixes and the trade deadline approaches…what we really need is someone to stop a gap. I think Carpenter is more that guy. We’ll see who they promote.
The other mystery will be how Jimmy Rollins is going to emerge from his extended break. The days off were designed to ease his mind, but there will be some pressure to start well out of the gate tonight. The fact is, a slump is a slump, and there is no magic way to get out of one. You just have to get hits, and that all on Jimmy. With no other options at short, we’ll be pulling for him. My advice? Take a few pitches.